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Given the above award, it is not surprising that I get to report that I earned a 100% rating on the Maryland League of Conservation Voters scorecard. Two pieces of legislation I was the primary sponsor of were included in the bills scored. The first bill is the Maryland Metro/Transit Funding Act, which provides dedicated capital funding for Metro/WMATA and some additional funding support for the Maryland Transit Administration. The second bill is the Maryland Pension Risk Mitigation Act, which requires our pension fund to take into account threats related to climate change.
I recently met with A Wider Circle, a non-profit that serves our most impoverished families, and they shared some interesting data about poverty. Click here to see the presentation.
Many of the bills the General Assembly passes during our 90 day session become effective on October 1st. You can see some highlights of the new laws that took effect this month here.
In September, the state's Board of Revenue Estimates recently released adjusted budget projections. For the current fiscal year, the state has increased its estimate by $325m in General Fund revenues, $177m of which is because of the individual income tax and appears to be a result of federal tax changes. There is a $112m increase in the sales tax, which is partially because of the collection of online or remote taxes following a Supreme Court decision. The next budget year also shows some growth in the projections with $18.6b available for General Fund expenditures. There are many so-called Special Funds not included in the projections, although some of the revenue accounted for here is diverted to these Special Funds. You can see the data here.
Each year, the Maryland Department of Transportation visits each county to discuss transportation spending and projects. A major topic of this year's meeting is the Governor's proposal for toll lanes on I-270 and I-495. You can watch my comments at the meeting online.
The Maryland Department of Information Technology is in charge of the state's information security policy. A constituent noted to me that the current policy is over five years old, a lifetime in the world of IT. I sent a letter to the Department to learn more about the policy and how it is updated, specifically noting some best practices that the policy did not seem to capture. Click here to read the letter.
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